Frustrations dealing with people not of my faith

I am not an Evangelist nor wishing to convert “non-believers”.  I don’t preach the gospel to anyone nor do I care for what I call:  “bible thumpers”. 

However….when my faith is smeared through propaganda I will get upset.  I understand that the Vatican came out with a proclamation to “evangelize” and I understand that there are people of the non-Catholic faith who don’t care for this. I don’t care for it either. For me, just live your life as a good person, whether you follow God’s teachings or not.  If you wish to convert fine.  If not fine with me also. I could care less.

What I do get upset about are people who will take this proclamation and twist it to fit their own perverted agenda.  I sometimes am galled into some very heated religious arguments on this forum based in Oman.  Some people will tell me I am just asking for it….It is predominately Muslim. No big deal….quite a few of them are open-minded to civil dialogue.

What makes me upset is that certain members will take an issue like this proclamation and as I stated twist it to fit their own agendas and make Christians look bad.

I know that we have missionaries in other countries who use money and health care to convert others. Trust me I am totally against that.  What I am for is Christians and non-Christians working together to well…assist humanity…eradicate hunger, poverty and sickness.  Don’t use religion as a backdrop to get this done. Do it because….IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO!  And quit telling me your religion is all pure and sin free when you have people killing in the name of your beliefs….and when these people do kill in the name of your religion or drag it through the mud in some fashion (Christian or not)…then speak up for God’s sake….condemn these acts and stand together as one to promote peace and unity.

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Transformation of the Christian Faith

mcr-crucifix-m.jpgFaith has many different meanings for anyone who believes in God.  Not until 9/11 have I seen such a resurgence in the essence of Christianity.

Why do I say this?  Because religion is at the forefront of politics.  We read and see issues that are tagged to Islam (whether warranted or not) and it makes those of us who practice the Christian faith ponder upon our own innate beliefs.  I know I have.

crucifixesw560h378.jpgAccording to  M. Craig Barnes in his article Homestretch: searching for God after 9/11:

The reality is that our country was never as impregnable as we imagined, and neither is any individual home immune from the crises of diseases, divorce and even violence. Until we take our place among the vulnerable peoples of the world we will nurture only an illusion about home. So it is wisest to take seriously the crisis moments of life. They are our best opportunities to discover the sacred activity of God, who is constantly inviting us to leave the home of our illusions, but only to move us closer to the tree home he has prepared.

Becoming more aware of what you believe in (regardless if you are a Christian or not) seems to have created a cultural mindset in people to examine themselves and where they stand as far as personal goals—-their life’s journey.  I already knew about Islam prior to 9/11 and realized it is not a religion of hatred.  Only misguided and sometimes perverted views can create monsters as those who carry out terrorist activities. As cognizant human beings we need to sift through the rhetoric and discover for yourself what is truly out there to believe.  I feel that Christianity is coming to a critical turning point in its extended history…….we must pay attention.  To embrace humanity irregardless of what book is worshipped or followed.

Transforming the Christian faith into something that Jesus taught us is important to address and cannot emphasize enough.  I think there are plenty of people out there, parishioners and clergy who have fallen off the path towards what is good and what is deemed morally right.

Jesus taught that God is a caring Father, not someone to fear but to respect and realize that we could come to God when needed and to also thank God for the blessings in our lives.  Through the Old and New Testament we were taught human beings were granted free will…having the ability to choose right from wrong. 

We all have spiritual unity without necessarily having philosophical uniformity.  Meaning, though we may worship in different ways (i.e. the Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Taoist and other religions…) we all have an intrinsic spiritual connection that makes us human and causes us all to attain for a better afterlife.

Websites:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_19_120/ai_109269252

http://www.necessaryprose.com/whatjesus.htm

The ruling of the Teddy Bear

everystockphoto_156365_m1.jpegI have followed several discussions regarding the teddy bear incident in the Sudan.  I feel very bad for the teacher Gillian Gibbons. I think in the future it would be quite wise to understand an Islamic state such as the Sudan before gaining employment. 

There are just certain do’s and don’t’s.  I personally feel that the teacher meant no harm.  That what occurred was taken way out of proportion.  This terrible travesty of justice has embarrassed Muslims with whom I converse with on a daily basis.  Not every Muslim out there is a fanatic.  I believe that the Sudanese government were biased, hasty and immature to even suggest jailing this woman or even worse.

If they were appalled by her behavior then she should have been deported already.  Sudan is no where near what the USA is, when it comes to freedom of speech.  Not like this nation where human rights are already severely curtailed.

Petition to free Ms. Gibbons:

http://campaigns.aicongress.org/Gillian

Who was Martin Luther?

reftitle.jpegI think hard about the status of Christianity today and I remember through my history books about Martin Luther and his reformation of the Catholic Church.  I honestly think he had some innovative and wonderous ideas about reforming Catholicism and can see some basic tenants that should be still observed today without the pomp and circumstance found in all Christian religions today…to the point where it is mainstream cultural dogma with a dash of pop culture.  (Don’t get me wrong….I love how church’s are bringing in a more youthful membership but don’t downplay or sugarcoat what Jesus taught).

 I already understand that he came from a very abusive childhood, that he felt abused as a monk but still there are some good points to his reformation:

 He stated: “I say, then, neither pope, nor bishop, nor any man whatever has the right of making one syllable binding on a Christian man, unless it be done with his own consent. Whatever is done otherwise is done in the spirit of tyranny…I cry aloud on behalf of liberty and conscience, and I proclaim with confidence that no kind of law can with any justice be imposed on Christians, except so far as they themselves will; for we are free from all.”

Websites:

http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/REFORM/LUTHER.HTM

http://www.quodlibet.net/stephens-luther.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther

Catholicism and Non-Believers

I was having an interesting discussion with some Muslim members on a website I frequent and was asked if Non-believers (i.e. those who do not practice Catholicism) will see Heaven.  From my understanding we do and I do not see other faiths, Christian or otherwise that practices this.  Follow-ups are more than welcomed.  Here is my response to a thread:

 40 most frequent questions asked to the Catholic Church (interesting):

http://mafg.home.isp-direct.com/que4033.htm

http://mafg.home.isp-direct.com/cques19.htm

Non believers and Purgatory:

http://www.cephas-library.com/catholic/catholic_pope_says_nonbelievers_can_be_saved.html

that whoever “seeks peace and the good of the community with a pure conscience and keeps alive the desire for the transcendent,” will be saved even if he lacks biblical faith (“Nonbelievers Too Can Be Saved, Says Pope,” Zenit, Nov. 30).

The Pope quoted Augustine, one of the “fathers” of the Catholic Church, who claimed that even pagan Babylonians would be saved if “they have a spark of desire for the unknown, for the greatest, for the transcendent, for a genuine redemption.” This, of course, is pure heretical nonsense.

The Lord Jesus Christ taught that men are condemned already because they are born estranged from God because of sin and that the only way to heaven is to be born again through faith in Him (John 3). The apostles taught the same thing. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

[B]I think at least from my own viewpoint as a Catholic that even those who are not of my faith will find their way to Heaven unlike some religions where if you are a Heretic of their faith you will go to hell.[/B]

Would Jesus be embarrassed by today’s Evangelists?

Just curious.  I mean, we see individuals promoting evangelizing Christianity as if it were some new kind of religion…as if they were trying to sell a car or some kind of product on an infomercial.  Yes, would Jesus be embarrassed by what some “preachers” are spouting today from their million dollar pulpit….a true Christian would try and send a good portion of that money to fellow Christians AND non-Christians because hey…let’s face it we are all sharing this planet together and there are plenty of people out there who need help.  It disgusts me to NO END to see these preachers spouting their stuff, strutting, wearing their expensive suits, driving their expensive cars while millions suffer.  I do not begrudge living a decent life but WHY all the extravagance?  I just do not get it.

 Being Catholic sometimes I am appalled by the excesses of the Vatican.  When we have Developing Countries trying to make ends meet within their own parish and HERE the faith teaches humility.  That the “meek” will inherit the earth.  I FAIL to see how these people are practicing the teachings from the bible and yet what is coming out of their own mouths does NOT match their actions or their pocketbooks….Someone please explain where I am blind on this issue…………………